Author Topic: Prompt Books: Extra Info In Script  (Read 3772 times)

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Prompt Books: Extra Info In Script
« on: Jul 25, 2006, 09:09 pm »
Hey Guys, im starting my planning for my show this fall of "Rumors". The script comes from Samuel French in a small booklet, and i am trying to transfer it over to full pages in Microsoft Word for blocking and calling scripts. Im noticing a lot of information in the script, such as blocking, character descriptions, and set references like this...

(Suddenly, Charley's bedroom door opens on the second landing and KEN GORMAN about, forty dressed in a tuxedo but looking flush steps out, comes to the rail, crosses to the right and begins talking rapidly)

My question is how much of that info do u transfer to your script. Is it worth it to copy all this info over, or is this stuff that you take out.


« Last Edit: Feb 11, 2008, 12:45 pm by PSMKay »


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Re: Extra Info In Script
« Reply #1 on: Jul 25, 2006, 10:44 pm »
It all depends on your style.  I use a special page for every page of my blocking script.  The actual page of the script is on the right side of the page while this sheet is on the left, if that makes sense.  This special page, which I call my Script Notes Sheet, has special places for blocking, costume notes, props notes, scenic notes, etc.  I have never had to transfer a script over into Microsoft Word, but if I did, then I would go ahead and write some of this information into the script notes sheet. For this specific example, I would split it up.  For example,  I would put the costume notes on the Script Notes Sheet, and then put the blocking directions and character information (the talking rapidly) in the actual script. This way you can know what's going on/what's supposed to happen during a rehearsal, and it will be right in the script.  Then, when you have Production Meetings or your director mentions costume notes, you have all of the costume notes for that page on the opposite side, yet it isn't taking up space in your actual blocking script.  If you prefer to not use something similar to a Script Notes Sheet, I would at least make a running list of costume notes/scenic notes/etc. found in the script.  As I said before, it's all a matter of choice and how you want to do things.  Best of Luck!
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Re: Extra Info In Script
« Reply #2 on: Jul 25, 2006, 10:52 pm »
It does depend on where the publisher got the information.  Some companies print from the playwright's final manuscript, while others print from the prompt book of the first production.  Take a look at the directions given and certainly make note of them, but do a little parsing to figure out what is necessary to make various "bits" work and what is subject to the interpretation of the director and designers.

Of course, if you're doing something by, say, Eugene O'Neill, who was well known for loading his scripts with detailed stage directions, you'll want to stuff more seriously.  In this case, the "talking rapidly" bit is essential Neil Simon characterization.  On the other hand, the bits about "tuxedo," "second landing," and "comes to the rail" are fine if you're working on the same set that they used for the first production, but  not so good if your set varies wildly from the original.


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Re: Extra Info In Script
« Reply #3 on: Jul 25, 2006, 11:34 pm »
Thanks a lot guys. I agree that i will keep anything that shows development of the character and wait and see what kind of set we use.

Mac Calder

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Re: Extra Info In Script
« Reply #4 on: Jul 26, 2006, 12:01 am »
I like to keep my typed up scripts verbatum at the onset so that I am on the same page as the actors basically.

As I move through the rehearsals, I constantly update the script with key events and remove the 'garbage'. Then, when I am making my calling script, I print out the updated copy. So during the rehearsal process, I would have the passage you mentioned, my calling script would have

(Door opens)
ENTER: Ken Gorman


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Re: Extra Info In Script
« Reply #5 on: Jul 26, 2006, 10:34 am »
It depends on the directorial decision.  If the director is doing everything in the script including all blocking noted, then it is wise to keep it all.  I am with Mac on this one.  I keep my blocking script exactly as the actor's scripts are so pages are easy and I know where they are at all times and am seeing what they are seeing.  But the call script is different and cleaner getting rid of extraneous material. 

Right now I am working on Waiting for Godot and the Beckett Estate is very keen on making sure people do exactly what is in the script.  You can be sued for changing the stage directions of Beckett and it has happened.  So with this one we are doing every word that is in the  authorized edition.  I won't need to retype or remove anything so my call and blocking script will look the same. 


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Re: Extra Info In Script
« Reply #6 on: Jul 26, 2006, 01:20 pm »
During rehearsals I want to have the exact same script that my actors have, so I would be verbatim. A lot of the time actors will come up to me with a question, and it makes it so much easier if we both have the exact same page to look at.

I've also seen SMs buy two copies of the script and then just paste the pages onto larger sheets of paper.

What I did in college what I'd use one Samuel French type script for rehearsals and blocking and save a fresh one as a call script.


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